Vehicle Theft

Theft from a vehicle is known as a car prowl and is the unlawful taking of motor vehicle contents or parts. A car prowl can be completed in a minute or less and a significant number of these crimes occur at night.

Methods of Entry

  • Unlocked door
  • Breaking of a window
  • Using a wedge to gain access

Items Frequently Stolen

  • GPS system
  • Electronics: iPhones, laptops, etc.
  • Wallets and purses
  • Personal information: Mail, vehicle registration, etc.
  • Shopping bags with items.


  • Keep the interior of your car clean. Don't leave anything appearing to be valuable in plain view.
  • Remove garage door openers, or house keys from your car so the car prowler cannot gain access to your home.
  • Don't store or leave credit cards, identification, or personal information in your glove box or anywhere in your car.
  • If you have valuables, put them in your trunk.
  • Always remove keys, roll up windows, lock your car and set alarm (if any).
  • If possible, store car in closed and locked garage.
  • If your car is in the open, leave exterior lights on throughout the night.
  • Consider replacing light fixtures closest to your car with a motion detector unity. Motion detectors are good deterrents causing a thief to think that someone has seen them.
  • Park in a busy, well lighted area. Avoid parking near anything that limits visibility such as dumpsters, large trucks, etc.
  • Avoid leaving your car in unattended parking lots for long periods of time.
  • When you pay to park in a garage, leave just the ignition key. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch. The people who live on your block are most likely to recognize suspicious activity.
  • Be observant when you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area.
  • Report suspicious behavior to police.

What To Do If Your Car Is Broken Into

  • Report the crime to the police.
  • If crime is in progress, call 911. If not, call the non-emergency number.
    • Moses Lake Non-Emergency Number 509-762-1160
  • If thief is caught, request to pursue charges!